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United Arab Emirates: The Business Capital of the World

United Arab Emirates: The Business Capital of the World

From the tallest skyscraper on Earth, the world’s only 7-star hotel, to the fastest roller coaster and the largest dancing fountain; the United Arab Emirates is known for breaking records. This is the place where no dream is out of reach, no aspiration is too grand, and no idea is unachievable. It is this pursuit of excellence and the unwavering belief in realizing the unimaginable that make this country so favorable for the entrepreneurially driven.


Once a small desert nation reliant on pearl diving, the UAE has transformed itself into a global business hub over the last 5 decades, emerging as one of the world’s richest countries with a GDP per capita almost 80% higher than the OECD average. Situated on the crossroads of the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa, with excellent air and sea connections with the rest of the world, the country bears great strategic importance for international trade. Today, a staggering 90% of regional CEOs of global businesses are based in the country, and a vast majority of Forbes Global 2000 companies have offices in the UAE.

The UAE offers endless opportunities for businesses to thrive – a highly diversified economy, state of the art infrastructure and business-friendly policies make it the ideal destination for start-ups and established businesses alike. According to Arton Capital’s Passport Index – the world’s leading global mobility intelligence platform – UAE nationals enjoy the strongest passport in the world, allowing them visa-free or visa on arrival access to more than 180 countries.

Since 2019, the country has started offering its own Golden Visa; a 10-year renewable residence permit that enables foreign investors and entrepreneurs to establish a UAE business with 100% ownership, without the need for a local sponsor. In addition to the privilege of sponsoring immediate family members regardless of age, UAE Golden Visa holders are also able to reside outside the country for more than the usual period of 6 months. This makes it particularly advantageous for those looking into business expansion or setting up offshore operations.


While setting up a UAE business can depend on several factors like your business activity, company structure. and physical office requirements, there are three fundamental pathways to company registration in the country: Mainland for global trading, Free Zone for 100% foreign ownership, and Offshore for tax optimization. Depending on your requirements, the UAE offers several jurisdictions under each pathway.

“Establishing a company in any part of the world can be challenging – even if it’s a leading business destination like the UAE. With detailed procedures and countless jurisdictions, where do you begin? At Arton, we’ve simplified the process by only offering a handpicked selection of the best jurisdictions where your business is supported by a robust ecosystem and expansive opportunities for growth,” shares Milos Stojanovic, Chief Operating Officer of Arton Capital.



A UAE Mainland license is suitable for businesses wishing to operate in and expand across the UAE, enabling direct trade with customers, other mainland businesses, and the provision of essential government services. Unlike the other two types of companies, a mainland company has the advantage of receiving authorization to trade both on the UAE local market and outside the UAE.


A Free Zone company is formed within a special economic area in an Emirate where goods and services can be traded. Whether you’re starting up, require a physical office, or need access to major markets across the globe, the UAE currently offers more than 40 free zones that cater to each business requirement. Businesses operating within free zones enjoy 100% foreign ownership and tax concessions.


If you intend to operate outside of your registered jurisdiction, an Offshore UAE license may be the most suitable option for you. This type of license offers time-efficient and cost-effective solutions to businesses moving offshore for the purposes of tax optimization and to enjoy more suitable regulations.

The United Arab Emirates is a cultural melting pot that brings together people from all over the world, each with their own unique story and a diverse set of skills that make this country the place to be. If you’ve got the next big idea or you’re looking to scale your business to new heights, register your company in the UAE and secure your future in the business capital of the world.